The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave was written by Frederick Douglass himself. He was born into slavery in Tuckahoe, Maryland in approximately 1817. He has, "…no accurate knowledge of my age, never having seen any authentic record containing it" (47). He became known as an eloquent speaker for the cause of the abolitionists. Having himself been kept as a slave until he escaped from Maryland in 1838, he was able to deliver very impassioned speeches about the role of the slave holders and the slaves. Many Northerners tried to discredit his tales, but no one was ever able to disprove his statements.
Frederick Douglass does offer a biased …show more content…
He became known as a fair and righteous man and was appointed as the U.S. Minister of Haiti after holding several government offices.
Frederick Douglass has woven many themes into his narrative, all being tied with a common thread of man’s inhumanity towards man. Children were uprooted from the arms of their mothers, "before the child has reached it’s twelfth month, it’s mother is taken from it" (48) and sold to other slave holders. Brutal whippings occurred for even the smallest imagined offense, "a mere look, word, or motion" (118), women were treated as no better than common concubines and the slaves were forced into living quarters, "on one common bed… cold, damp floor" (55) worse than some of the farm animals. The slaves were not allowed even the most meager portion of food, "eight pounds of pork and one bushel of corn meal" (54) to last a month. Clothes were scarce and illness was never tolerated. It was unthinkable for the slaves to practice any type of religion, hold any gatherings, become literate to any degree, "unlawful… unsafe, to teach a slave to read" (78) or even make the simple decision of when to eat and sleep.
One of the themes that the book dealt with is society and it’s handling of slavery under the guise of Christianity. Those who professed to being the most Christian i.e., the minister who lived next door, was actually the most cruel. Douglass stated adamantly that religion
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Mr. Douglass had many experiences during his time enslaved that would have been typical for a Southern slave. His early childhood was like most Southern slaves in multiple ways. The master and slave relationship was designed to make slaves feel “… broken in body, mind and spirit” (Douglass, 74). Like all slaves, Mr. Douglass and his fellow slaves “were all ranked together at the valuation. Men and woman, old and young, married and single, were ranked with horses, sheep and swine. There were horses and men, cattle and women, pigs and children, all holding the same rank in the scale of being, and were all subjected to the same narrow examination” (Douglass, 58). Furthermore, in order to perpetuate a system of inequality slave families would be treated differently than white families. For example, to “hinder development of the child’s affection toward its mother, and to blunt and destroy the natural affection” (Douglass, 20). Slave masters
Douglass was born a slave in 1817, in Maryland. He educated himself and became determined to escape the horror of slavery. He attempted to escape slavery once, but failed. He later made a successful escape in 1838.
In the Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass: an American Slave, written by himself, the author argues that slaves are treated no better than, sometimes worse, than livestock. Douglass supports his claim by demonstrating how the slaves were forced to eat out of a trough like pigs and second, shows how hard they were working, like animals. The author’s purpose is to show the lifestyle of an American slave in order to appeal to people’s emotions to show people, from a slave’s perspective, what slavery is really like. Based on the harsh descriptions of his life, Douglass is writing to abolitionist and other people that would sympathize and abolish slavery.
He notes that, the slavery institution made them forget about their origin, and anything else that entails their past, and even when they were born. The slaves forgot everything about their families, and none knew about their family because, they were torn from them without any warning. Douglass explains how they went without food, clothing and even sleep because their masters were cruel to them. American slavery took advantage of black laborers as they were beaten mercilessly without committing any offense. They were not treated as human beings, but as property that could be manipulated in any way. The slavery institution was harsh for the Africans especially women who were regularly raped, and forced to bear their masters children and if they declined, they were maimed or killed.
The brutality that slaves endured form their masters and from the institution of slavery caused slaves to be denied their god given rights. In the "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass," Douglass has the ability to show the psychological battle between the white slave holders and their black slaves, which is shown by Douglass' own intellectual struggles against his white slave holders. I will focus my attention on how education allowed Douglass to understand how slavery was wrong, and how the Americans saw the blacks as not equal, and only suitable for slave work. I will also contrast how Douglass' view was very similar to that of the women in antebellum America, and the role that Christianity played in his life as a slave and then
In a Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave written by himself, the author argues that no one can be enslaved if he or she has the ability to read, write, and think. Douglass supports his claim by first providing details of his attempts to earn an education, and secondly by explaining the conversion of a single slaveholder. The author’s purpose is to reveal the evils of slavery to the wider public in order to gain support for the abolition of his terrifying practice. Based on the purpose of writing the book and the graphic detail of his stories, Douglass is writing to influence people of higher power, such as abolitionists, to abolish the appalling reality of slavery; developing a sympathetic relationship with the
Slavery was an embarrassing time in America’s history. In 2016, slavery has become a distant memory. It’s easy for us to admit that slavery is wrong but, in Frederick Douglass’s time no one thought that it was. Frederick Douglass went on to write books and give speeches in hope that one day all slaves would be free. In the book called “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass”, he attempts to shine light on the American Slave system in the 1800’s.
Women were forced to bear master's children. Slaves were beaten unwarranted by their masters cruelly. Slaves had no rights or education, slaveholders maintained inhumanity and afraid slaves would become unmanageable. One of Douglass's family member died in the forest alone, even served the master for years.
He was internationally recognized as an uncompromising abolitionist, indefatigable worker for justice and equal opportunity, and an unyielding defender of women's rights. He became a trusted advisor to Abraham Lincoln, United States Marshal for the District of Columbia, Recorder of Deeds for Washington, D.C., and Minister-General to the Republic of Haiti”.
Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: an American Slave. New York: Barnes and Noble, 2005. Print. This a book about Frederick Douglass’s remarkable life. He was born a slave in 1818 on a plantation in Maryland. He taught himself how to read and write becoming a renowned writer and orator. This book accounts the daily horrors of his time as being a slave, and eventually recounts his time as a civil rights activist, newspaper writer, and spokesperson. He lived through the civil war, the end of
Frederick Douglass was born into slavery in 1818. Frederick Douglass was an African American slave who escaped at the age of twenty. He was born in Talbot county, Maryland. His mother was Harriet Bailey and his father was a white man. Douglass wrote his narrative for Northerners and Abolitionist.
“My mother was of a darker complexion than either my grandmother or grandfather. My father was a white man. He was admitted to be such by all I ever heard speak of my parentage.”
Being a slave in the United States was not uncommon in the 19th century. There were many brutalities of being a slave including physical and spiritual abuse. Slaves were considered property and not as human beings. They were mistreated and kept illiterate. The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave is a autobiography written by Frederick Douglass himself that told of his experiences of being a slave in the United States. He expresses the brutality the slave owners and how he struggled with running away to become a free human being. The themes of his story include: the ignorance of slaves, the treatment of slaves as property, religion used as justification, and the victimization of female slaves.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is a novel written by an aspiring author, Frederick Douglass himself. Frederick Douglass was born in Tuckahoe, Talbot in Maryland. Frederick Douglass is uncertain of his age because his masters have deliberately kept that information top secret. Frederick Douglass explains how his mother, Harriet Bailey had died when Frederick was only 7 years old. Frederick Douglass also believed his master a white slaveholder was his father. Therefore, Frederick thought slavery was not only harmful to colored people, he didn’t find pleasure with the fact he couldn’t contact his father. Slavery is presented as a common theme throughout Frederick Douglass. In conclusion, slavery is a major conflict throughout the text.
Frederick Douglass was an influential writer and abolitionist speaker who was born into slavery in Maryland as Frederick Bailey. He worked as a slave on farms in the Eastern Shore and enjoyed more freedom